Story By: Richard Thomas
Photos By: Sol Tucker
College Park, MD–
In what looked to be a tail of two teams today, the Maryland Terps sure showed they were ready to play come the second half of the game today against the Richmond Spiders. That second half was “Likely” a different attitude literally as William Likely stole the show breaking a Big Ten record that was set by the 1939 Heisman Trophy winner, Nile Kinnick.
Likely hasn’t hesitated about declaring himself as the best cornerback in the Big Ten, nor did he hesitate to announce himself as the conference’s best returner. He backed up those strong words Saturday, smashing the record with 225 yards returning and helping the Terps to a 50-21 victory over the Spiders.
Likely returned eight punts, including a 67-yarder for a touchdown that made it 43-14 with 10:30 remaining. He had another return of 47 yards.
“I don’t know if there are enough superlatives to use in regards to Will Likely, Maryland Coach Randy Edsall said.
“They did a great job of not letting guys get downfield quickly and giving me a shot,” Likely, who finished with 296 total return yards, said of his blockers. “Once I saw grass, I just went.”
Richmond’s Kyle Lauletta went 18 for 30 for 220 yards. The Spiders managed only 56 yards rushing, and Lauletta was sacked four times.
Wes Brown also put some numbers up for the Terps today, rushing for 74 yards on 13 carries, including a one-yard plunge to make it 36-14 with just less than 13 minutes remaining in the game. That capped a 10-play, 57-yard drive that featured nine runs from Ross and Brown.
“That is why it’s good when we both can run for a good amount like we did today,” Ross said.
Making his first start since 2012, Perry Hills did struggle in the onset of the first half. but completed 12 of 21 passes for 138 yards and an interception.
“Perry hasn’t played in a few seasons and he needed to get adjusted on the field. You were able to see a little bit of a difference the second half and with the running game, we were able to move the ball more efficiently,” said Edsall.
This is the first of four home games for the Terps this season. Next week they face Bowling Green, another must win game for the Terps, who hope after today’s first half have worked out all of the kinks before the Big Ten regular season opponents hit the schedule.